Castleford Tigers aren’t daunted by Sunday’s trip to high-flying Huddersfield Giants.
A win for the home side would see them leap-frog Wigan Warriors into top spot in Super League, for a day at least.
That will be huge motivation for a Giants outfit looking to bounce back from last week’s Tetley’s Challenge Cup quarter-final exit at Warrington Wolves.
But having won at Wigan last month, Tigers coach Daryl Powell feels his team have nothing to fear and everything to gain, despite their loss to St Helens last time out a fortnight ago.
“We’ve got to go and play well and if we are on our game we’ll have a chance,” Powell predicted.
“They’ve been going exceptionally well, but they’ve got rattled a little bit over the last couple of weeks.
“They worked pretty hard to get a win against Hull late on and then Warrington set about them last week and got over the top of them. There will be a response, no doubt about that, but we’re just looking to play well ourselves. The players didn’t have any time off last week, they worked hard.
“They’ve worked hard and looked pretty sharp this week and I’m pretty happy with the way we are practising.
“We just need to take that out on to the field for a bit longer than 40 minutes and I think we’ll go okay. We are challenging teams consistently well at the moment. But when we get knocked out of our stride it’s about getting back on the path a little bit quicker than we have been.
“I thought we had a great chance of beating Saints, but it was one that got away from us a little bit. We need to respond ourselves to that.”
Warrington found the formula to beat Huddersfield last week, but Powell said Tigers will need to take a different approach.
“Warrington are an outstanding rugby league team and when they come after you they can do some damage,” he said.
“I thought they did that, their pack was outstanding, but we are a different team to Warrington, you have got to play your own way. I think it is a great opportunity for us to go and challenge one of the better teams in the division and go well.
“There aren’t any easy games. It’s a tough level and tough conditions, but we have just got to focus on ourselves and not worry too much about what Huddersfield are going to do.
“We know their strengths, there’s plenty of them and we need to deal with their threats, but it’s about us. We’ve got six games left, we’re going to chalk them off one at a time and go and challenge the opposition.”
Tigers have another free weekend after this one before taking on Warrington at home on August 4. Powell admitted: “I’d rather keep playing. I don’t think it’s great scheduling.
“If you look at the club over the last eight weeks, the scheduling has been terrible – we’ve been away from home consistently, the Magic Weekend, Challenge Cup rounds all over the place, Exiles. A little bit more thought would be handy I think.”
Huddersfield from: Grix, George, Cudjoe, Wardle, Murphy, Brough, Robinson, Patrick, Faiumu, Kopczak, Ferres, Ta’ai, Lawrence, Crabtree, Ferguson, Mullally, Wood, Cording, Blackmore.
Castleford from: Tansey, Owen, Shenton, Dixon, Carney, Hauraki, Chase, Walker, Milner, Huby, Thompson, Millington, Massey, Clark, Holmes, Davies, Fleming, Ellis, Channing.
Referee: Richard Silverwood (Mirfield).
Kick-off: July 21, 3pm.